HIV test kits not sub-standard, Centre tells HC

The Centre today refuted all allegations against supplying sub-standard HIV test kits to various medical centres in the country.

In an affidavit filed by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) on behalf of health ministry in the Delhi High Court, the government said that such allegations made by Dr Kunal Shah, a US resident and member of World Bank, is baseless.

"There is no evidence to support the vague, incorrect and wrong allegations regarding the substandard kits. On the other hand, there is evidence to show that the kits are not substandard," the affidavit said.

The government’s response came on a PIL filed by Dr Shah, through his counsel R Venketraman, seeking probe into an alleged racket of supplying sub-standard HIV test kits to medical centres.

The Court, earlier, had admitted his petition and had issued notice to the Centre and NACO.

Claiming that he himself visited various hospitals and blood banks in March 2007, the petitioner had stated that he found use of sub-standard HIV kits for detection of the disease.

There is "use of spurious HIV kits in some hospitals and blood banks in India endangering transmission of the AIDS virus to unsuspecting patients," Shah said referring to the World bank report.

He had stated that in January this year, the Bank has released a comprehensive report alleging that there is wide spread corruption going on and sought direction to the NACO Director to refer the HIV test kits in question to any other competent laboratory to find their efficacy.

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